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Nova Labs to celebrate Juneteenth with community BBQ

By Dr. Lawrence Nightingale - Director, Nova Labs

June 19th is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19th or Juneteenth is a time for family, friends, and community to celebrate freedom. Juneteenth is worthy of recognition for some important historical reasons. First, the Emancipation proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863. Second, Robert E. Lee did not surrender the Confederate Army until April 9th, 1865. Finally, The enslaved people in Texas, some 250,000 men, women, and children did not learn about their date with freedom until General Morton Granger and his 2,000 union soldiers arrived in Texas to inform them on June 19th, 1865.

Juneteenth is the perfect holiday for Nova Labs. Juneteenth celebrations almost always focus on education and self-improvement. The Nova Labs Juneteenth tradition is an opportunity to bring our community together, to reunite, and to plan bright futures together in celebration, over barbeque.

The Following is derived from

Barbeque is a traditional focus of Juneteenth celebrations, formerly enslaved people celebrated by eating meats such as lamb, beef, and pork each of which was rarely available to enslaved people. Consuming red foods is another recognized tradition of Juneteenth. Strawberry soda, “Red Drink”, beet salad, and red velvet cake are all examples of foods which are welcome and common at Juneteenth celebrations. “The crimson is a symbol of ingenuity and resilience in bondage,” according to The New York Times. The red is significant as some West African traditions associate the color red with strength. Other traditions include wearing ornate or fancy clothing in celebration of Juneteenth. Formerly enslaved people were not allowed to wear clothing of any consequence, dressing with sophistication is an exercise in freedom on Juneteenth.

Come to the Nova Labs Juneteenth Barbeque and bring a friend, to share in community, eat reds foods, dress snappy, and learn about African American scientists and inventors as we plan our future together in Freedom.

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